Crossbow Newbie - Questions


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Nov 28, 2010
Good morning

Ive borrowed my dad’s crossbow with the thought of possibly trying to deer hunt (Illinois) later this archery season. I’m a generally novice deer hunter and especially archery/crossbow hunting.

For those with experience, do you cock your crossbow (no bolt) on the ground and then hoist up? Or how do you go about cocking your crossbow when hunting from a tree stand?

If you do hoist up, there any retractable ropes/lines that you would recommend? I would like something that is not dedicated to staying on that stand.

Finally, any general pointers or advice?

Thank you!


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Mar 7, 2008
I cock and let down my crossbow before walking to the stand. It won't fire without a bolt loaded and it is a smaller package cocked and therefore easier to carry (for me). We leave ropes attached to each tree stand to pull up our gear. We just hook them to the ladder so the wind doesn't blow them up into another tree or snag. I did just order one of these however because we're likely changing up our approach to hunting/filming. Once I have it in hand I'll report back on my thoughts.

I've only ever used Scorpyds so I don't know if things would be different with a different crossbow design.

This is my Aculeus
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Mar 27, 2013
I also cock my crossbow before leaving for the walk in. If I am walking in during shooting hours, I will load it up until I get to stand then unload before going up. Sometimes I will even leave it cocked in my vehicle if I know I will be hunting again the next day.


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Aug 14, 2020
I used to cock mine at the base of my stand and load it when I got up in stand, and one day going out I
Had a nice doe stroll out in front of me 15 yards unaware I was there. I'm sure if I had cocked it at the truck I would have been able to load a bolt and get off a shot. I always cock it at the truck now.
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